Webbed Toes: Meanings, Causes, In Celebrities & Surgery Cost

There are various disorders take place in the human body. Most of the disorders have a genetic bearing and thus genetic disorders, among other causes.

Deep understanding of the causes and meaning, insight into surgery and cost would be useful. Here is an article that would open your eyes in this regard.

Webbed toes meaning

Webbed toes
Webbed toes in humans. Source/Wikipedia

This is a medical condition that in which two or more toes are fused. It is also called syndactyly in the medical profession. This process occurs during the pregnancy and specifically during the first trimester of pregnancy.

Statistics show that in every one out of 2000 live births, there is webbed toes. This is especially the second and third toes. There are various types of webbed toes and the well-known ones are six as below:

  • Simple webbed toes where the toes are bound together by the skin and the soft tissue
  • Complex webbed toes which involve the fusion of the adjacent toes
  • Complete webbed toes form when the skin of all the toes are joined
  • Incomplete webbed toes come into being when there is partial joining of the toes especially the first joint
  • Fenestrated webbed toes form when the skin of most of the toes fuse. However, there is a space in the middle of the skin that is joined.
  • Polysyndactyly: an extra digit is webbed and joined to an adjacent toe.

There are various other names with which this condition is known. They include duck toes, tiger toes or the twin toes.

The webbed toes have no impact on your ability to carry out your daily activities that need your legs. However, they can be a source of embarrassment and negative impact on your self-esteem. The susceptibility to the condition in terms of gender is not clear because there is no research in that area.


The real cause of webbed toes is not known. What is known is that it appears randomly without any factors predisposing it. It has been observed that it could even occur in a child who has no family history of the disorder.

There are some inheritance factors that have however been linked to webbed toe. This is the commonest and most suspected cause of this condition. There are some patterns that have been linked to this.

Genetically, the autosomal inheritance is responsible for the formation of webbed toe. In this case, a mother has the webbed toes while the father does not have. In the long run, you are more likely to have webbed feet.

There is another form of the inheritance that is called autosomal recessive. In this case, you will only inherit webbed toes if the both of your parents have the aspect of webbed toes. This form of inheritance is however rarer.

Besides inheritance, there are conditions that would cause you webbed toes. Such diseases would cause you the abnormal growth of your toes. Such kinds of diseases include down’s syndrome and the apert’s syndrome.

After a fire burn, you are likely to get webbed toes. After you are burned a scar forms and this in the long run result in the formation of webbed toes. The scar makes the skin of your toes to fuse.

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More information indicate that diet could have a contribution to webbed toes. There are chances of webbed feet could come by if you don’t take the proper diet when pregnant. Smoking when you are pregnant could also contribute to this.

Webbed toes in children

There is a study that shoes that there 1 person in every 2000 to 3000 born with webbed toes. Because of the genetic changes with time, it is likely that only one person in the family inherits the trait. A condition called amniotic band syndrome is very disturbing in this state.

In the above syndrome, the toes of your baby divide but then join afterwards. The occurrence of the webbed toes could also take place with other genetic diseases. For instance, a condition called polydactyl.

It is a common trend that most parents are likely to ignore this condition. It only comes to being when it affects the bay psychologically when it grows up. You should therefore check with you doctor as soon as you notice something that would like webbed feet.

Just like adults, the treatment option for this condition in babies is by surgery. In the future, there will be need for occupation therapy so as to help your child to make use of its toes. The surgery requires a highly experienced surgeon to do it. Any error may lead to long term effects


You might find it hard to coexist with webbed feet. You should not be dismayed to learn that some of the celebrities have learnt to accept and live with webbed toes. Here is a list of some of the common celebrities. They find it to be a non-issue and thus live with the deformity.

  • Joseph Stalin. It is reported that the USSR dictator had webbed feet. He is the 76th most enlightened leaders in history, 44th most important leaders and the 5th most influential people during the cold war.
  • Ashton Kutcher. He is one of the most famous celebrities in fantasy football. It is recorded that he showed his webbed feet during one of the Friday night with ross.
  • Dannielle Panabaker is yet another celebrity known to have had webbed toes. She is a film superstar who appeared in the films such as Herbie fully and sky high.
  • Kate Bosworth is yet another celebrity. She an American actor, designer and model. Despite having webbed toes, she does well in her career.
  • Dan Aykroyd is yet another celebrity on the list. He is known for referring to himself as the genetic mutant in a video. The video clearly shows the webbing on the middle toes.
  • Bellamy young. She openly spoke about her webbed feet on twitter.
  • Dale Soules is also another celebrity with webbed toes. She expresses how she came to accept and love the webbed toes on her feet. She is an actress.
  • Rachel Stevens. She is a top pop star it is reported that she has webbed feet.

Surgery for webbed toes

The main reason that would make you to go for a repair of a webbed toe is mainly cosmetic. However, you could also opt for this because of the embarrassment that you go through from time to time. There are modern methods of surgery available for you to undertake.

Your surgeon will carry out the procedure painlessly using anesthetic agents. This is a simple procedure that you will undergo and then be allowed to go home the same day. Before you go for the procedure, ensure that you are fully aware of the outcome. You should also be adequately convinced.

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The surgery is in most cases a very simple and straight forward procedure. It becomes complicated if your bones, tendons and blood vessels come into play. It is done procedurally in the following way:

  1. First of all, your surgeon introduces an anesthetic agent. You may fall asleep to an extent that you will not feel pain or be aware of the procedure. There are other cases where only the affected area is numbed for the procedure. All this depends on what you prefer.
  2. After that, your surgeon marks the area where the operation would take place.
  3. Having done that, your surgeon will cut the skin of the affected area into flaps. After that, he will cut the soft tissue into separate fingers.
  4. The surgeon then goes ahead to sow the places cut. There are other times when surgeon is forced to obtain a skin from another location and then replace any lost skin. This is called grafting.
  5. The surgeon then wraps your foot or toes in a hard and tight bandage. This allows for healing to start and continue uninterrupted for a period of time.

Despite the tremendous success registered above, there are some risks that come with the procedure. They are among them:

  • The anesthetic agent used may cause breathing problems. Some anesthetic agents are likely to depress the breathing system to a great extent.
  • Further, you are also likely to react differently to the medication used to bring about the numbing effect.
  • Apart from that, if your surgeon does not take caution, you may lose a lot of blood.
  • There are chances of infections. This therefore dictates that your surgeon should be very careful of any potential contaminants around.
  • The outcome, depending on how the surgery is done might lead to the stiffness of your toes.
  • You are bound to lose a lot of skin from some areas of your body

The outcome of the surgery could be rendered normal or otherwise. Further, the outcome of this process is dependent on the degree and extent of the fusion of the toes. For children, there are other times when there may be a requirement for multiple surgeries.

Despite the fact that you may be treated and then discharged the same day, proper aftercare methods would be important.

  • You should stay in hospital for monitoring for a period of about 2 days. Despite the procedure being easy to conduct, it requires proper dressing and medication upon completion.
  • You should also take some anti-inflammatory medications to alleviate the swelling that results.
  • Keep the area bandaged for a period of about two weeks. Besides, limit movements for proper healing to occur. You should keep the bandage dry and clean at all times
  • When a graft is taken from an area, the area should remain moisturized and protected for some time.
  • You will in the course of time feel some pain. In this case, you should take some painkillers that will adequately suffice.

Contact your doctor as soon as you observe:

  • Abnormal swelling
  • Severe pain
  • Fever
  • Bluish color of the toes
  • Severe pain

What is the cost of surgery?

The cost of a webbed toe surgery varies from one country to another. Further, it is likely to vary from one clinic to another if in the same country. Further, it is likely to vary from one medical practitioner to another.

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On average, the price ranges from as low as 400 us dollars to as high as 5,000 us dollars. You should therefore not go for the cheapest nor the most expensive. Choose the one that suits you but at the end of the day give you satisfactory results.

You should also look at the technology used by a particular hospital. Similarly, consider the qualification of the medical practitioner carrying out the process. Check out on the available sources for reviews of the clinic you wish to enlist the service.

Webbed toes in dogs

The appearance of webbed feet in animals is a normal occurrence. In fact, this is an environmental adaptation to various conditions.  The webbing is known to occur in animals that have a history of spending time in water.

In as much as dogs are not among the wide category of aquatic animals, there are species with webbed feet. Their webbed feet are slightly different from those that spend their time in water. The webbing is minimal compared to examples of ducks and frogs.

The webbing of the toes in feet appears to vary from one species to another. There are some species with more webbing compared to others. There are observations that dogs that have more webbing compared to others have been trained to work in water.

The variation in the webbing is mentioned by Charles Darwin in the book, the variation of animals and plants under domestication. Another observation by the American kennel club notes that webbing is an adaptation that enables dogs to swim.

There are a number of dog breeds that have shown the extensive webbing of their toes. They include the following:

Redbone Coonhound

This is a dog species that has been used for long especially for hunting purposes. It was used for a long time in Europe and South America. These areas were colonized by vast lands covered by swamps and forests.

The webbed feet enabled them to wade through the muddy and murky swamps so as to pursue and seize the prey.

German wirehaired pointer

These are dogs that were bred and trained to hunt anywhere. Be it open fields, forests or even swamps. They were used to hunt animals both on land and the water.

They would pounce and kill the prey even in water.

Portuguese water dog

This dog has webbed feet built for running and swimming. They are mainly used by fishermen and the herders. They are perfect herders of schools of fish and not cattle.


They were initially bred and found in the Newfoundland by the fishermen in the cold water of Canada. They have the thickest webbing and longest toes thus enabling them to wed through the water.

They are also able to swim with a lot of ease as compared to other ordinary dogs.


They have small feet but the webbing is immense. This enables them to dig through dirt. They are able to hunt and haul the prey even out of the water.


The following are pictures to give you a glimpse of how the webbed toes look like in real life. The webbing could be detected at childhood and thus corrected in advance.

Surgical plan for webbed toes


  1. http://www.nytimes.com/health/guides/surgery/repair-of-webbed-fingers-or-toes/overview.html
  2. https://www.cosmeticfootsurgery.co.uk/index.php/joined-toe-splitting-surgery-de-syndactyly

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